Hong Kong yesterday passed a new immigration law that includes powers to stop people entering or leaving the territory.
The bill sailed through the Hong Kong Legislative Council.
Rights advocates, lawyers and some business figures have sounded the alarm over provisions within the bill, including one that allows the territory’s immigration officials to bar people from boarding planes to and from Hong Kong.
No court order is required and there is no recourse to appeal.
The Hong Kong Bar Association said that the bill’s wording gave “apparently unfettered power” to the immigration director.
Speaking after the bill was passed, labor rights advocates and lawyers said that the Legislative Council had ignored concerns about the law’s broad wording.
“When they have this power, absolute power, you don’t know who they will use it on,” barrister Chow Hang-tung (鄒幸彤), a member of the Hong Kong Alliance, told reporters after the bill was passed.
The Hong Kong government said that the bill was needed to address a backlog of non-refoulement claims and to screen illegal immigrants before they depart for the territory.
“It will only apply to flights heading to Hong Kong,” the Hong Kong Security Bureau said.
So-called “exit bans” are often used in mainland China against people who challenge authorities.
Separately, Chinese social groups, enterprises and public entities are to have increased responsibility to combat foreign espionage under new regulations issued on Monday by the Chinese Ministry of State Security.
According to state media, state security would work with other government departments to “adjust” the list of groups susceptible to foreign espionage and to develop measures to safeguard against it, including Chinese Communist Party and state organs, social groups, enterprises and public institutions.
Once organizations are designated as having anti-espionage responsibility, state security would provide “guidance, supervision and inspection” of their efforts, including personnel vetting, and strict training, monitoring and debriefing for staff trips overseas, reports said.
Such organizations must report suspicions and incidents to authorities.
The rules were unveiled amid increasing public campaigns to watch out for foreign spies, which state media have warned could be an “intimate lover” or “an online friend with the same interests.”
Additional reporting by the Guardian
EMBRACE CHANGE: Jensen Huang told NTU graduates that instead of worrying about AI itself, they should worry that people with expertise in AI would be taking their jobs Artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the computer industry, and Taiwanese companies could play a major role in replacing the world’s traditional computers as they are the foundation of the industry, Nvidia Corp cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said in Taipei yesterday. Huang made the remarks while giving the keynote speech at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) commencement ceremony. AI has created immense opportunities, and versatile companies can be expected to take advantage and boost their position, while less flexible firms would perish, he said. “In every way, this is a rebirth of the computer industry and a golden opportunity for the companies of
‘ARCHAIC’: An interpretation of a law that considered Chinese as Taiwanese nationals was scrapped after the death of a Chinese in Kaohsiung led to state reparations An administrative mandate to consider Chinese as Taiwanese citizens was outdated, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, a day after the Executive Yuan ordered that agencies disregard the 30-year-old interpretation. Chen made the remarks at an event held by the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei following changes to the administrative mandate concerning the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例). The previous interpretation of the law was archaic and contrary to the workings of laws and regulations, he said, adding that the order was made to avoid unnecessary problems created by the mandate. The Mainland
NOT BUYING IT: One of the goals of Beijing’s Cross-Strait Media People Summit was to draw mainstream media executives to discuss the ‘one country, two systems’ formula Taiwanese news media insist on press freedom and professionalism, and would never become a tool of China’s “united front” campaign, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, responding to media queries about the lack of Taiwanese media executives at the Cross-Strait Media People Summit in Beijing. Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Huning (王滬寧) was reportedly furious that no Taiwanese media representatives attended a scheduled meeting with him on Thursday last week. “Beijing should take Taiwan’s determination to pursue freedom and democracy seriously. We also hope that it will not use vicious means to interfere with Taiwan’s development into a
IMMIGRATION REFORM: The legislative amendments aim to protect the rights of families to reunify, and to attract skilled professionals to stay and work in Taiwan Foreigners who are highly skilled professionals, top-prize winners in professional disciplines, investment immigration applicants or have made special contributions to Taiwan can soon apply for permanent residency on behalf of their spouses and minor or disabled children after the legislature approved amendments to the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法). The amendments, which were proposed by the Ministry of the Interior and approved by the Executive Yuan on Jan. 12, aim to attract foreign talent to Taiwan and encourage them to stay. They would take effect once they are signed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The amendments involved changing 63 articles, making it the biggest